BP2: First Opportunity
Written by Max Silver
This week has been very exciting for us! A little while back a representative of a venue in Portsmouth (The Guildhall) mentioned that a new space had just been finished; a small, 150-seater black box. He extended an invitation to the Uni students to pitch any shows that could make use of it as they had empty bookings on account of its newness. Obviously, this was a great opportunity so we reached out and set up a meeting and so we met! We brought along our February 2018 show (Now renamed to Definitely Not Romeo and Juliet because we realised there was already multiple far more famous shows called The Show Must Go On!) and pitched it.
Now here is where I’ll offer some advice to anyone who wants to get some interest in your project: Have as much documentation as possible. Luckily when we did the February show we filmed the performance which has turned out to be a godsend. Now it is terrible quality and consists of only one wide angle, but this doesn’t matter. What matters is we have proof of our ability to carry out a performance, we have proof that we can get an audience and (luckily) you can even hear them laughing throughout! Every time you do anything make sure to take lots of photos and videos (if possible high quality but any are better than none!) as these are invaluable proof for anyone who may have reservations that you can do what you say. We wished we had more evidence of the things we have done for a portfolio but now whatever we do we make sure to thoroughly record it, and you should too.
I say this because what really sold the producer on our show was watching this poor-quality recording and seeing that we had something tangible to offer. I genuinely think without this we may not have secured this opportunity. So, we talked for a long time about our project and tried to be as professional, impressive and enthusiastic as possible (which is hard when Josh is sat there picking his nose). In the end, he said that he was impressed and wanted to take it up the ladder to the lead programmer. Now, this doesn’t mean that we have a guaranteed performance, but it does put us one step closer to our first professional production. More importantly, we know how to pitch a show to a producer and what they will be looking for from us meaning next time we can be even better prepared.
We have just finished an official proposal and sent it off to be passed on, so we are awaiting the results. Meanwhile, we are setting up our company website which is proving a bit slow (Jamie’s a perfectionist) but this is great as it will mean that we can start building up a portfolio. Having a place to put information and documentation will be fantastic as it will allow us to look the professional part! One thing I have realised is that you can create extremely good work, but you can’t expect people to take your word for it. The more you can put people at ease with evidence, like a good looking and fleshed out website, the easier people will find you to get behind.
The more astute among you will have realised I’m currently writing blog posts for a website that doesn’t exist yet. If you are reading this however it will mean that one day at least the website was done so that is a nice thought. That’s the big bits done but in smaller news, we are gearing up our preparations to go to Edinburgh, Josh is finding venues and I made a rough estimate for costs (over £4500 for 5 people so far, ouch, but that is very much so a rough estimate). We also are all searching for funding to help cover those costs, so we hopefully don’t have to all pull pints over summer for the privilege. Meanwhile, Jamie has written another script and this one’s a real hoot! Based on his old, extremely strange teachers, it makes you realise how he came out the… interesting… man he did. The table read was delightful and even inspired me a little to get off my creative backside, which is no easy feat! In other news we are currently rehearsing two children’s plays for a showcase; me and Josh are making a cat, a dove and 4 mice puppets for Cinderella; and personally, I’m editing a show to hopefully enter into some writing competitions (so wish me luck in that)!
If you made it this far then well done, you get a special surprise! Here’s a joke for you: A dentist stands on trial for murder, when put on the stand he pleads that it was the victim’s evil molar that killed him but everyone says he is lying – “It’s the tooth! The tooth I tells ya!” duh dumm dum chhh. You’re all very much welcome, hope you enjoyed and if we get this gig I promise I will write you all a lovely poem about dentists to celebrate.
Your pal that lies about his promise for dentist jokes,